Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: December 2011
Be'chol Lashon Updates

Support Jewish Unity and Peoplehood!

We want to share some of the successes you made possible over the past year. Be'chol Lashon provides tools and opportunities to explore identity and connect the Jewish people globally. We look forward to working together toward a stronger, more vibrant Jewish people, ensuring the participation of future generations in Jewish life. Please make a year’s end donation.

Abayudaya UpdateHappy Chanukah: The Gift of Life for the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda

The life saving services of the Tobin Health Center ensure each day will be brighter for the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda as well as their Christian and Muslim neighbors. The Abayudaya celebrate Chanukah with their fellow Jews around the world.

In the News: Increasing diversity redefining America's Jewry
By Stephanie Siek, CNN, December 28, 2011

The face of Judaism in America is changing, as the community becomes more diverse through intermarriage, adoption, immigration and conversion. Be'chol Lashon is trying to foster an expanded definition of Jewishness, one that includes the diverse backgrounds of Jews around the globe.

Lacey In the News: Lacey Schwartz Gets Outside The Box
By Kylie Jane Wakefield, Jewcy, December 5, 2011

Whereas Lacey’s life story is unique, her honest no-holds-barred approach to resolving questions and pushing boundaries is universally compelling, resonating with younger generations who are searching and whose Jewish identity is one choice among the many identities they navigate.

400 MilesWorld Premiere: 400 Miles to Freedom
New York Jewish Film Festival
January 11
January 18: Q & A and reception will follow with directors Avishai Mekonen and Shari Rothfarb Mekonen joined by Rabbi Manny Vinas, Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, and Lacey Schwartz.

In 1984, the Beta Israel began a secret and dangerous journey of escape. Co-director Avishai Mekonen, then 10 years old, was among them. In this film, he breaks his 20-year silence about the kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community’s exodus out of Africa.


Camp Be'chol LashonBenefits of Summer Camp: Creating Advantage in College
By Steve Baskin, Psychology Today, December 2, 2011

Summer camp had been a huge part of my personal development as a young man, and had even found its way into my college and graduate school applications. Yet the idea that "camp was like college" did not seem to make sense to me at the time.

Sign up for Camp Be'chol Lashon in Northern California today!

Keats De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam showcases Judaism's Global Diversity, December, 2011

Judaism: A World of Stories is part of a series of exhibitions at De Nieuwe Kerk on the cultural history of world religions. While the Jewish Historical Museum focuses primarily on Jewish culture, religion, and history in the Netherlands, De Nieuwe Kerk will use this special exhibition to showcase Judaism's global diversity, with the building as a spiritual site.

Non-Jew Two Non-Jews, One Jewish Marriage
By Marc Tracy, Tablet, December 8, 2011

Why would I want to participate in something leading to the lessening of the number of people involved, the weakening of the religion? Wouldn’t I want to just do the obvious and bring people in? What harm is there if I officiate with two non-Jews, a Jew and a non-Jew? No one has ever pointed out to me harm.


The Iranian Schindler: How thousands of Iranian Jews in America owe their lives to Paris diplomat
The Daily Mail, December 24, 2011

Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who employed over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust in an effort to save them from concentration camps, was memorialized in a famous book and Academy Award winning movie. His Iranian equivalent, Abdol-Hossein Sardari, is now getting some of his due press.

Singing One small flame: Jewish family finds pride, faith through diversity
By Freddy Hunt,, December 18, 2011

Chris Brown is accustomed to standing out from the crowd. Most people would say she doesn't look Jewish. She’s been Jewish her entire life, and although it hasn’t always been easy, through her faith she has embraced her identity and passed the same love on to her husband and four daughters -- just as her grandmother passed the Jewish faith to her.

What’s in a name? A lot! Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43
By Rabbi Michael Werbow, The Jewish Chronicle, December 8, 2011

In Sephardic communities, it is not uncommon for a child to be named after a living relative. There is talmudic support for this from a story when a child was named after a scholar who was still living. Both the Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions are customs. They certainly carry much weight in their communities, but they are customs nonetheless.


JuanSong of the Sea: Jewish Life in the Caribbean
By Juan Mejía, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Winter 2011

A mezuzah, no matter how small or how grand, is the essential marker of a Jewish home. Now, thanks to the Latin American Masorti movement, homes in communities from Mexico to Argentina are marked as Jewish.

Gibraltar In tiny Gibraltar, an outsized Jewish infrastructure
By Alex Weisler, St. Louis Jewish Light, December 11, 2011

Gibraltar's largely Orthodox and Sephardic Jewish community has grown substantially in the past decade, increasing its rolls by 25 percent in just the last three years. The Jewish primary school now has a record 140 pupils

Rabbi Reform rabbi sworn in to Buenos Aires council
By Gil Shefler, The Jerusalem Post, December 6, 2011

Rabbi Sergio Bergman made history when he was sworn in to the 60-member Buenos Aires municipal legislature. He became the first Jewish religious leader to assume public office in the Catholic-majority country.


Drake Music: The Fame Monster
By Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker, December, 2011

The hip-hop artist known as Drake has become one of the most interesting stars of the moment. The twenty-five year-old, born Aubrey Graham, is a biracial Canadian Jew who grew up in an affluent suburb of Toronto.

Rock Days of Disco Music: The Rock Days of Disco
By Robert Christgau, The New York Times, December 2, 2011

Born to a hip 14-year-old beauty in 1952, Rodgers was raised among bohemians, criminals and drug addicts in Lower Manhattan, the Bronx and Los Angeles by his African-American mother, his white Jewish stepfather and both biological grandmothers.

Settling Down Movie: Settling Down
Tablet, December 19, 2011

Chani Getter knew she was gay and could not stay in her marriage, but she also knew that she wanted to stay within the ultra-Orthodox community and raise an observant family. She is one of seven women profiled in DevOUT, a new documentary


If you live in New York"If you live in New York… " Photographs by Julian Voloj
October 27 - December 30
Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, 400 Grand Street, NYC

Comedian Lenny Bruce once stated that “if you live in New York … you are Jewish.” Using this reference in the title of his latest exhibition, photographer Julian Voloj explores the diversity of New York’s Jewish communities.

If you live in New YorkArtist Talk with Siona Benjamin
January 3rd, 7pm
Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University, New Jersey

"Ishq: Paintings by Siona Benjamin" combines new and older works by the Montclair, New Jersey based artist, Siona Benjamin. All of the paintings and installations on view deal with the artist’s fundamental concern for tolerance of diversity in our trans-cultural world. Join her Tuesday the 3rd as she discusses her work with the public.

Be'chol Lashon New York GroupBe'chol Lashon/JBFCS NY Group for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews
Wednesday, January 4th, 7-9pm
New York City (location given with RSVP)

This month the group will be discussing identity, presented by Linda Rosenblatt and moderated by Erika Davis. RSVP required. This event is co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon and JBFCS.

Sixth and IBe'chol Lashon Be'chol Lashon DC Discussion Groups

NEW! Be'chol Lashon and Sixth & I sponsoring new discussion groups in Washington, DC. Groups for individuals and parents starting in January.

Sign up here.

Joel KatzWhite: A Memoir in Color
January 12th, 1:30-6pm
New York Jewish Film Festival, NYC

In this personal documentary, Joel Katz (Strange Fruit, NYJFF 2002) explores what it means to be white in America through the story of his own family across generations.

CapersWill to Learn: A Day of Talks Honoring the Great Minds of Terezín
Rabbi Capers Funnye: January 22nd, 10am
92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street, NYC

This day-long program is inspired by the memory of the remarkable inmates of the Terezín Ghetto and comprises a series of talks.


We welcome your participation in the Be'chol Lashon Newsletter!

Please send us information about events in your community or articles of interest that relate to Jewish diversity. E-mail Esther Fishman. Submissions are subject to editing for content, clarity and style.

Special thanks to all the contributors who make the newsletter interesting and informative.

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